The Nation Notebook: Demers to Arizona, Pastrnak Finally Signs, and Ducks Injuries

‎The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article. 

The Florida Panthers trade Jason Demers to Arizona. David Pastrnak signs long-term with Boston. The Ducks will have to deal with some significant injuries to start the season. Please, won’t someone think of Matt Duchene?!

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Demers for McGinn

Florida trades Jason Demers, with 12.5% of his salary retained, to Arizona for forward Jamie McGinn. Florida seemed to sour on Demers after signing him to a five-year deal the past summer, and with Dale Tallon back in charge, they get McGinn and his $3.33 million salary for the remaining two years on his contract.

The Panthers save a bit of money in the short term, and get out of Demers’ contract, but it’s a little surprising they couldn’t find a taker for him until now. Demers is still a competent right-handed defender who can play a top four role. His $4.5 million cap hit is okay, but Florida retaining makes him more attractive and this trade a clear win for Arizona. The NHL is desperate for good right-handed defencemen and the Coyotes got one in exchange for a pricey bottom-six forward.

Demers rounds out a nice defence group built by John Chayka in Arizona. Starting with Oliver Ekman-Larsson makes things a lot easier, but Chayka has added Alex Goligoski, Luke Schenn, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jakob Chychrun, and Jason Demers since becoming general manager. That defense should support the Coyotes’ young forwards and he didn’t give up much to acquire then. Aside from cap space and the draft pick used on Chychrun, Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin were the most consequential assets given up and that was for Hjalmarsson. Murphy’s an interesting player, but there’s real concerns about what he is away from OEL, while Dauphin is still a prospect waiting to make the NHL full time.

There’s always talk about how difficult it is to acquire good defencemen, but Chayka has built a solid group without giving up premium assets.

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Pastrnak Signs

David Pastrnak re-signs with the Boston Bruins for six years and $40 million.

The cap hit is a little low, considering Leon Draisaitl’s huge eight-year deal was thought to reset the market a bit for young players coming out of their entry-level contracts. Those two are comparable players, but Boston held tough, and Pastrnak’s $6.66m AAV is much more in line with previous contracts signed by Johnny Gaudreau, Fillip Forsberg, and Sean Monahan, than the one Draisaitl signed. The Draisaitl deal might end up being more an outlier instead of the one that resets the market, which is a very good thing for the Maple Leafs as they move into post-ELC deals for their big three.

Anaheim Injuries

Anaheim was only a few games away from a Stanley Cup Final last season, but they’ll start this year on a much more difficult path. Ryan Kesler is out indefinitely, and now both Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm are sidelined until November, Bob Murray hopes.

If there was any team that it could stand to lose two of their top-four defencemen, Anaheim is probably up there. They’ll have to rely more on Cam Fowler and Josh Manson, Brandon Montour will play an increased role, and maybe a 37-year old Francois Beauchemin has something left in tank?

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Duchene Watch Continues

At this point it feels cruel for Matt Duchene and the Colorado Avalanche. Just trade him already, Colorado. We did get this glorious picture out of this saga, but you have to think this is a terrible, awkward scenario playing out at Avalanche training camp.

Are offers for Duchene really going to get that much better? Let the guy go and recoup whatever assets you can.

      • JimmyV1965

        The Hall trade might have been an overpay, but Calgary is the only place that would value Demers over Larsson. I’m sure the Flames players are just dreading the next time they go to Arizona and face Demers. LOL. We know Larsson is a nasty piece of work and they really dread meeting him in the corner.

        I guess if Drai made $2 mill less that would put him in the Johnny Hockey level. Wonder how many GMs would trade Drai, even at $2 mill more, to get Johnny Hockey. I’m thinking the list is pretty short.

        • Roberto

          The proof is in the Pudding isn’t it…. was it not a 33 point swing or something ridiculous like that? A Perennial loser team turned into to a cup contender with basically one trade? Some people refuse to eat a portion of Crow pudding, even when it’s so obvious…. the team actually acts like a team now rather than skilled individual players. Hall’s a good player, it just wasn’t working out here, so the team made changes that did work out.

      • LAKID

        BS Willy. Larson is better than any flames duhman and it’s pure envy over the Drai. The Oilers just scored 10 goals on calgary’s self proclaimed best D in the NHL. Out to lunch again?

    • Christian Pagnani

      I thought about this as well, but it seems very unlikely. Colorado seems set on getting some sort of defenceman in return for Duchene, but he’d be a very interesting addition to the Oilers as a C/W. H

    • Atomic Clown

      Dont you guys need the cap space to pay Talbot, Maroon and Nurse i believe? Whats the point of shedding Nuge’s $6 million, and picking up Duchene’s $6.3, for an additional 2 years?

        • Atomic Clown

          Why dig yourself a hole in the first place? That’s like me pushing you off a ledge, and then grabbing you at the last second and saying “I saved you, acknowledge how great I am”. It’d be idiotic to trade a good 2C for a good 2C, who not only costs more, but is signed for two years longer. Stop being biased, and recognize a bad/pointless trade proposal as a bad/pointless trade proposal

  • bobdaley44

    Draisaitl Pastrnak comparable players? Don’t think so. Huge two way minute eating point producing playoff beast centre who does it all and a one way small skilled scorer.

  • Avalain

    So I haven’t really been following Colorado; what is the situation with Duchene? It’s a small gripe, but couldn’t the article actually talk about what the situation is or maybe just leave it out entirely?

    • Hemmercules

      Just a bad situation all around. You can tell he wants out bad but Sakic is just being way too picky on the market and has likely already missed out on a few deals he could have made. Duchene mailed it in hard down the stretch last season which doesn’t look good on any NHL player and probably hurt his value a bit. I thought for sure Sakic would pull the trigger on something before camp but now he has a major distraction on his hands.

  • tileguy

    A little something out of Vegas, as good a place to post as any I guess.

    Griffin Reinhart is running out of chances.
    Reinhart started on the top pairing with Shea Theodore and did little to show he earned the honor. Despite roughing up Canucks winger Darren Archibald following a questionable hit against Matteau, the former fourth-overall pick was a few steps too slow and showed mediocre hockey sense. Unless his play picks up considerably, he is likely headed for middle-pairing duty on the Chicago Wolves.

  • Hemmercules

    I love Draisaitl but that contract is a bit concerning. Had he been on any other team it would likely be 1.5 or 2 mil less. I think he has it in him to live up to it but its a payout based on one good season and potential, these things have got the Oilers in trouble before. I hope he manages to solidify himself as a solid #2 center this season and removes any doubt that he deserves that contract.

  • camdog

    There were deals for Demers, but he turned them down, aka Vancouver. He has a modified no trade clause. Not a surprise that he wouldn’t last at his next destination, his skill set is greatly over exaggerated and misunderstood by the numbers guys. Still a decent d-man, but doesn’t bring anything special (speed, physicality, puck moving).

  • TKB2677

    Florida has a 103 pt season with what looks like a good, young, emerging team anchored by a good, young defense core. After I think their best ever season pts wise, for puzzling reasons, they make a change of the GM “promoting him”. the change some players and go more towards advanced stats. They end up firing a 103 pt coach not even a year after he got them 103 pts. Now they had some significant injuries but the changes they made didn’t work. One of the roster moves they made was signing supposedly advanced stats darling – Demers – to a 5 yr 4.5 mill deal last offseason. After their debacle of a season, they end up bring back Talon to clean up the mess. One of the first things Talon does when he is back in charge is put Demers on the block and even exposes him in the expansion draft. For a team to go hard after a player in free agency, sign him for 5 years at 4.5 mill which I would say is top end #4 dman money, then barely a year later they can’t get rid of him fast enough, says RED FLAGS to me all over the place.